What does your critical voice tell you? Does it tell you that you’re not good enough? Does it scold you when you make a mistake? Perhaps it tells you that you’ll screw things up. Or that you’ll never succeed, because you never have…
The power of your critical voice might be so strong that it stops you from truly living your life. Maybe you’re not going for that job you really want, because the voice tells you you’ll never get it. Perhaps you avoid social situations, or intimate relationships, because your critic warns you of rejection.
Maybe it’s that chronic critical whisper, that makes you want to hide your creative works. Or worse, it stops you from creating them at all.
The more you listen to your critical voice, the more you will believe it. When you believe it, you won’t question it. And, because you believe it, you will continually behave in ways to prove that the voice is right.
What if, instead of bowing to the power of your critical voice, you could befriend it instead.
What if you could make peace with your critical voice — and ask it to work for you, instead of against you.
As with all friends, to make friends with your critical voice, you must first make an effort to understand it. From both personal and professional experience, here’s what I know about the critical voice inside:
Your critical voice re-circulates old beliefs about yourself.
Your critical voice repeats what other people told you about yourself.
Your critical voice is not your true voice.
Your critical voice is trying to protect you.
You use your critical voice as a way to stay safe.
You are more powerful than your critical voice.
Your critical voice targets the exact places that most need your compassionate forgiveness.
When you truly understand your critical voice, you can begin to see the ways it has tried to protect you from getting hurt. For example, when you believe you’re not good enough, or that your work isn’t good enough, it’s easy to hold back. Holding back is an effective way to stay safe. Exactly what your critical voice wants.
Unfortunately, our own critical voice is far more critical than most people would ever be. And, holding back when you feel discouraged, can feel worse than courageously stepping forward. In the end, believing in your critical voice will hurt you more than taking risks.
Next time your critical voice tries to discourage you, take a moment to acknowledge her. Stop to say: “Hello, I hear you. Thank you for keeping me safe.” Breathe deeply, and allow her words to release.
Next, tell her some of the the encouraging words you’d like to hear instead. Practice pivoting from critical words to the encouraging words. It takes time, but with practice, it will become easier and easier to believe in yourself.
Remember that your critical voice targets your most hidden, insecure places. These are exactly the places that need the most encouragement, the most compassion, the most understanding. More criticism won’t help — it will only trigger more holding back. Shift from discouragement to encouragement, and you will find your courage.
Bottom Line – your critical voice wants to keep you safe. Honor this, by finding ways to make risk-taking feel safer. Stop trying to please the critics. Stop listening to the naysayers. Instead, surround yourself with encouraging people. Share your work with people you trust. Talk to yourself in encouraging ways. Use techniques such as EFT and guided meditation to help you feel better about yourself.
To learn more about my Tame Your Inner Critic Mini Program, click here.
P.S. Share this with someone you’d love to encourage.